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Tritonic enters the Triumph Hurdle picture
The juvenile hurdle run at Ascot on Saturday was an intriguing affair, featuring some exciting recruits from the Flat. The most notable was TRITONIC, who had finished runner-up in the Golden Gates Handicap at the Royal meeting.
Tritonic had to work hard to justify favouritism, but he showed an excellent attitude to edge ahead close home on his debut over hurdles. It was an encouraging performance with the Triumph Hurdle in mind.
Stamina is important in the Triumph Hurdle, which is contested over 17 furlongs on Cheltenham’s stiff New Course. Tritonic looks a strong stayer based on how much he found under pressure at Ascot to overcome a three-length deficit at the final flight.
The level of form Tritonic showed is shy of what leading Irish juveniles Zanahiyr and French Aseel have achieved, but he is open to improvement over hurdles, and will be entitled to respect in the Triumph.
Royale Pagaille entitled to take his chance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup
ROYALE PAGAILLE may still be a novice but the level of form he showed at Haydock on Saturday means that he won’t be out of place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, for which he was in the odds for (non-runner-no-bet) should connections choose to go down that route.
Royale Pagaille was well beaten on both starts for Venetia Williams last season after joining the yard from France. But, he has proved a completely different proposition this term – winning all three outings in the style of a progressive, high-class chaser.
He was especially impressive under top weight in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock on Saturday, winning that handicap by 16 lengths and earning a Timeform rating of 163p. More is required to reach the standard set by Al Boum Photo (172), but Royale Pagaille is firmly on the up and won with plenty in hand so connections will have to consider a Gold Cup bid.
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Roksana should take a shot at the Stayers’ Hurdle
ROKSANA didn’t need to improve to win in mares’ company at Ascot on Saturday, but she impressed with how she got the job done, sauntering clear on the bridle to score by 8 lengths.
Roksana has been better than ever this season, proving well served by being campaigned at around three miles. The Stayers’ Hurdle looks a better option for her than the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Roksana won the Mares’ Hurdle in 2019 – albeit fortuitously after Benie des Dieux fell at the final flight – but she looked slightly short of the required pace when only fourth last year. She was only third in the Long Walk Hurdle last month, but she wasn’t beaten far by Paisley Park and Thyme Hill, the leading lights in the division.
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